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Whenever your husband is deployed, do you ever have the feeling that your relationship and marriage have had the “pause button” pushed on them? That there’s no growth in your marriage in those months that he is gone and everything is just at a stand still? Do you feel like intimacy is paused, real conversations are paused… love is paused. Ever feel that “writer’s block” when you pick up your phone to send him an email or a message? When you so desperately want to talk to him but your lives are so separate that you don’t even know what to say any more? How are you? only goes so far and eventually gets old. Believe it or not, there are ways to help you two draw closer to each other and push that “play button” to resume your marriage even when separated by thousands of miles!
Intimacy is commonly mistaken for only sex. But intimacy by definition means making yourself known. Obviously sex is one wonderful way for husbands and wives to make themselves known to each other-God created it to be that way! It is difficult to stay close and intimate with your husband when you’re so far apart because God created us to long for physical intimacy. He created that to be an extremely important part in marriage, an extremely important way for husband and wife to connect. But knowing the definition of intimacy can probably put other ideas into your head for making yourself known to your husband as well. Luckily physical intimacy is not the only way to stay close to each other!
I have picked up the phone so many times wanting to emotionally connect with Luke while he’s been away but I couldn’t find any words. It’s rough when you’re living apart because it’s like two separate lives instead of the one life together you’re used to. It’s an extremely frustrating feeling. Through the grace of God (and a great book!), I have found out ways to feel closer to him and actually “continue” my marriage and grow closer to my husband even while we are thousands of miles apart.
Ten ways to become closer to your husband while he’s deployed include:
Pray for your husband!
Prayer is an incredibly intimate act because it includes God. Praying for your husband and asking God for his physical, emotional, and spiritual protection will bring you and your husband closer as a married couple. Ask God to keep away any temptations that may try to sneak in and try to break up a marriage. Did you know that as his wife, your prayers for him are more powerful than anyone else’s prayers for him? How awesome is that! God wants you to pray for your husband because when you do, you allow God into your marriage which will only strengthen it and strengthen your love for your husband.
Pray for your marriage.
Again, since prayer is such an intimate act between you and God, He will bless your marriage when you ask. Ask God to protect your marriage because a strong, God-centered marriage is something the enemy will attack over and over and try to break up because it is so important to God. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says:
Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.
This is definitely one of my favorite biblical verses. The three-ply cord represents you, your husband, and God. When you invite God into your marriage, it will be stronger than ever and more resistant to the things in the world trying to destroy it. Pray for your marriage and ask God to bring you two closer and to lift your marriage up to Him and let Him do His will through your marriage.
If possible, pray with your husband.
With things like Skype and FaceTime these days, praying with your husband is even possible when he is deployed. Praying with your husband is probably the most intimate thing you could ever do as a couple because you are going to God together. Matthew 18:20 says:
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.
How beautiful and comforting is that? God promises that if you and your husband are sitting in your bed together, holding hands and praying together, God is right there next to you. He’s listening to your requests and worries and sharing in your joys and strengthening you as a couple. Praying with your husband whether right next to each other, over Skype, FaceTime, through letters, or any other ways, will bring you closer together than you can ever imagine. I personally am even more excited than I thought I was (which I didn’t think could be possible!) about Luke coming home from this current deployment because, through prayer, I have grown to love him even more. And I cannot thank God enough for opening my eyes to how beautiful our marriage is and how thankful I am for my husband! I have to admit, we have not gotten to pray together yet because life is busy for him and for me with taking care of our 4 little boys, but I hope to do it at least a few times before he comes home! And of course, I can’t wait to start every night once he is finally home. I am more than looking forward to experiencing all of this with him! Even if you can’t pray with him over FaceTime or Skype, write a letter with a prayer and ask him to respond with a prayer 🙂 God will bless you two for putting Him first no matter how you do it!
Be honest with everything while he’s away.
The more you two reveal to each other, the more you will make yourselves known to each other, which equals true intimacy. If something is bothering you about your present or your past and you want to tell him but you’re afraid he won’t understand or he will look at you differently, tell him anyways. You want to tell him for a reason. Follow your heart and reveal your sorrows, your joys, your pains, your successes, your failures, and your goals. Your husband wants to share these with you! When there is complete trust in a marriage, you will build an incredible foundation for your marriage to thrive on and your intimacy between each other will prosper.
Confess to each other.
Do not hide anything in your marriage! Ever! It will not only stress you out but it will unfortunately make you and your husband drift apart. My own personal example during this deployment is finances. I recently confessed I had been using the credit card for things I should’ve otherwise budgeted for. They weren’t bad purchases but I put groceries, gas, diapers, etc. on the credit card when I should’ve just waited until we had the cash on the next payday. Those costs added up fast and we have credit card debt that we definitely wish we didn’t have! Hiding that debt made me sick. At that time, I was still reading the devotional Wife After God: Drawing Closer to God & Your Husband and read a chapter on hiding from God and hiding from your husband. It talked about how lying or hiding something is terrible and can make you drift away from your husband and God. After I told Luke about the debt, I felt so much better and Luke handled it well, too. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Don’t hold ANY secrets back because that prevents you from making yourself known to your husband and prevents intimacy from flourishing. Confessing to each other breaks down walls between you and your husband and brings you closer than could ever imagine.
Do a “date night”.
Have dinner together over Skype or FaceTime on his day off if possible! Light a candle and pour a glass of wine, he can eat his food from the DFAC while you eat your kids’ scraps left over from dinner (that’s at least what I’ll eat, haha!). Talk, give each other your undivided attention! No phones, no texting, no surfing social media, only the device you are using to talk to your husband and that is it. Say a prayer together during that date night, as well. Again, if you cannot talk to him because of his location, write a letter describing a date night with him. Add a prayer in that letter that you’d like God to bless your date, your marriage, and your husband.
Write a love letter!
Go the “old-fashioned” way and write a love letter. Let it be your outlet. Let your husband know how much he means to you, how much you appreciate all he does and the huge sacrifices he makes. Write down a prayer in the love letter for him and for your marriage. Let it come from the heart.
(Believe it or not) pray for yourself!
Asking God to help you each day to become the wife He wants you to be will have an amazing impact on your marriage. God will give you the patience, kindness, self-control, peace, and joy you ask for. Ask God to help you be the Christian He wants you to be and to reflect His love to everyone you meet, especially your loving husband! If you ask God to help you better yourself, He will bring so much happiness into your life! Praying for yourself will open your heart towards God and especially towards your husband.
Commit together as husband and wife to reading the Wife After God and Husband After God devotionals.
(Shown in right sidebar on this page) This has personally been one of the most eye-opening and amazing ways to become closer to Luke and God all at once. It brought so much to light and helped me love Luke even more. I am so thankful for these books and I know I’ve said before that I will recommend them a million times! Every single chapter in Wife After God was incredibly influential-you need to read it for yourself! But the most influential chapter I remember was on pride. Pride is a nasty sin and it can really destroy ANY relationships, but especially a marriage. In her book Jennifer says:
Pride speaks lies like, ‘I have all the answers,’ or ‘I don’t need you,’ or ‘I can do it on my own,’ or ‘My way is the right way.’
This is so incredibly destructive in a relationship. She also says: “Pride is not motivated by love, it will keep you from surrendering, it will keep you from apologizing, it will keep you from forgiving.” You can imagine the damage pride does to a relationship. Never stop apologizing, never stop forgiving, never stop loving your husband. No matter what. Let go of your pride and it will break thick barriers between you and your husband and begin the process to gain intimacy.
I have mentioned this before in another post on 4 ways to improve your marriage. Being apart from each other for SO long makes it ridiculously easy to start fights over the silliest things. Don’t be so quick to jump at his throat for the smallest things in your letters, messages, or during quick calls. I know it’s difficult to understand each other’s lives when they’re lived separately and you don’t understand what he’s going through while at the same time he doesn’t understand what you are going through at home, but respect him. Men need to be respected! Support him when he’s upset or wants to make a decision on something at home, listen to him when he wants to talk, and let go of the silly things! It is not worth even more stress on your marriage than what is already going on with him being away.
As you do these things, some of them will open up doors for intimacy with God as well which in turn will only blossom the intimacy between you and your husband. If you follow Ecclesiastes 4:12 mentioned above and become closer to God in your quest to pursue your husband, your relationship and marriage will only flourish! Only through God can such beautiful things be promised. 🙂